TOR TIV Stool : Why Shitile Of Sankera Clan Deserves The Throne

Since the formal announcement of the demise of His Royal Highness

'Begh-U-Tiv' Orchivirigh Dr Alfred Akawe Torkula Tor Tiv the fourth by

the Tiv Traditional Council.The entire Tiv Nation was literally

thrown into mourning.
The 'Indyer',a traditional drum,was struck repeatedly to alert the

kingdom of the tragedy that has befallen not only the Tiv race but

also that of the entire nation.
As expected,the entire media space is abuzz with stories,news

reports,scoops and features,either real or imaginary all centered on

the battle of who will succeeds the late paramount ruler.

This development necessitated various intriguies among Shitile and

Kwande clans laying claim to succeeding the late Tor Tiv. The raging

controversy over the appropriate ruling house to produce the next Tor

It is a well acknowledged fact that the law for establishment of Benue

Council of Chiefs and Traditional Council has shown clearly that

Shitile of Sankera clan is to produce the next Tor Tiv. Under section

16(1) schedule 3 of the law. The Tor Tiv institution founded in

1946,traditionally rotates among the Tiv two sons of Ipusu and Ichongo

as the main ruling houses in Tiv kingdom.These two ruling houses are

found in Sankera,Kwande,Jechira,Jemgbah and MINDA an acronym for

Masev,Ihyarev and Nongov Development Association. Ichongo's

descendants are Masev,Ihyrav,Nongov,Ugondo,Turan, Shangev and Ikyurav.

While lpusu has Shitile and Kpar his two sons as descendants. Kpar

children are found in what is today known as Jechira,Jemgbah and

Kwande. Shitile are mainly in the Sankera intermediate with Ukum and

Tongov along Ichongo children such as Turan and Ikyurav.

When Makir Zakpe was appointed the first Tor Tiv by the colonial

administration headed by D.O captain Downes in 1946,his appointment

did not go down well with the Tiv tradition where the first child take

first in all sharing. However,the colonial administrator who held

supreme powers in this regard did what they wanted despite this murder

of tradition and culture. Although the Tiv people were happy for at

least getting their independence. Before then,the colonial

administration imposed a Hausa-Fulani man from Ilorin. Mallam Audu

Afoda was turbaned the Sarkin Makurdi,in an attempt to inaugurate

Emirate ruling dynasty for the Tiv. This portentous blossoming was

nailed when Mallam Audu died afterward. His son Baba Afoda's attempt

to succeed his late father was thwarted by the Tiv in armed struggle

that was instigated by the Tiv elites like Oradi Ugba and Iyorkyaa Ako

in partnership with second world war ex-Service men like Emberga

Samu,Igyuse Doki,Ula Lisa,Makondo Igbon,Gon Gire and others.

Makir Dzakpe,Kpar of Ipusu ruling house was a retired sgt. major in

the colonial army he hailed from Mbaduku,Vandeikyaa of Jechira

intermediate area. He ruled from 19th September 1946 and died 12th

october 1956 as Tor Tiv the first. He was succeeded in the same year

by Gondu Aluor,a local government administrative officer,he is of

Ichongo ruling house. He hailed from Logo of Ugondo intermediate area.

He ruled from 1956 and died 17 September 1978 as Tor Tiv the second.

When the turn of Ipusu came round again in 1978/79,the Shitile made a

case for the Tiv nation to consider the 'ya na wan igbian' sharing

principles in addition to their position as the eldest son of Ipusu.

Base on this facts late Ezekiel Akiiga was presented for the Tor Tiv

the third position along other Ipusu sons such as late Asema Yua from

Kwande. This time the colonial administration was nolonger in place

however late Joseph Saawuan Tarka held sway in Tiv land in all

matters. J.S Tarka drafted late James Akperan Orshi to join the Tor

Tiv race in order to pave way for his ambition to go to the National

Assembly. James Akperan Orshi was contesting the Jemgbah seat with

late Gbihi Vembe and Tarka. By compensating Akperan Orshi of Jemgbah

from Kpar family with Tor Tiv stool the eldest son Shitile was once

again short change and left in the cold. Kwande too was schemed out

by Tarka where he formulate the theory of 'Ihyev miom icha ihyar ga'.

Late Gondo Aluor was eventually succeeded by an
educationists,lawyer,retired secretary of the state government and

Head of Service Dr James Akperan Orshi Kpar descendants of Ipusu

ruling house. He hailed from Buruku of Jemgbah intermediate area. He

ruled from 1979 and joined his ancestors 14th May 1990 as Tor Tiv the

third. It was again the turn of Ichongo ruling house who produce Dr

Alfred Akawe Torkula,a retired permanent Secretary and French language

graduate. He hailed from Guma of Masev intermediate area. Dr Torkula

accended the Tor Tiv throne on 21st April 1991and died 22nd November

2015 as Tor Tiv the fourth. When he was selected in 1991 to lead his

people,the one dimensional formula of 'ya na wan igbian' the Tiv adopt

in sharing whatever they have among themselves was applied to crown

the late ‘Begh-U-Tiv'. Now that the Tiv Traditional Council have

pronounced the passage of Dr Akawe Torkula. His replacement will

definitely come from the Ipusu ruling house. And this time around from

the eldest son of Ipusu (Shitile ) who appeared suppressed by his

younger brother (Kpar ) who occupied the stool twice in 1946 by Makir

Dzakpe from Jechira and Akperan Orshi from Jemgbah 1979. All of Kpar

descendants from Ipusu ruling is worthy of note that,this

wrong and injustice against Shitile who is the eldest son from Ipusu

lineage should not be allowed to continue.
John Akevi a public affair analyst writes from Bauchi.

Email:[email protected]

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Articles by John Akevi